The name of Pepsi Paloma trended earlier on Twitter after Senate President Tito Sotto "requested" online news website Inquirer.net to take down three published articles about the alleged rape and murder of the late sexy actress, all of which implicated his name.
The published articles that were asked to be taken down were The Rape of Pepsi Paloma (March 5, 2014), Was Pepsi Paloma Murdered? (March 15, 2014), and Tito Sotto Denies Whitewashing Pepsi Paloma Rape Case (March 3, 2016).
Although several news reports confirmed that she committed suicide on May 31, 1985, there have also been a lot of speculations alluding to the possibility that she was murdered.
Her controversial death happened three years after she was allegedly drugged and raped in 1982.
Rodel Rodis, writer of the first two articles, posted the letter sent by Senator Sotto to Paolo Prieto, the president and chairman of Inquirer Interactive Inc.
In a letter dated May 29, 2018, the noontime host-turned-senator stated that "these kinds of unverified articles have been negatively affecting my reputation for the longest time."
He has made his efforts to clarify his side, but with the circulation of these articles on social media, these efforts had been "ineffectual."
Senator Sotto also stated that readers "who knew nothing about the issue" would take these published articles as the "version of truth" since Inquirer is a "well-trusted company."
The politician then said that his appeal was made "without the intention of trampling on your freedom of speech of the of the press."
Senator Sotto then referred to Republic Act No. 53, a bill which he filed that exempts publisher, editor, reporter from revealing the source of published news or information obtained in confidence.
He then stated that his request merely echoes his quest "for the truth—a 'balanced news' so to speak."
INQUIRER'S RESPONSE. Inquirer.net released its official statement in response to Senator Sotto's request earlier today, June 16.
Abelardo S. Ulanday, Inquirer.net publisher and editor-in-chief, acknowledged that "it is within Sen. Sotto’s right to make this request, citing particularly his claims that the articles contain unverified facts and baseless allegations."
But the news outlet "has not made any decision" regarding the request.
For his part, writer Rodel Rodis also made his personal statement regarding the matter on his Facebook account.
The U.S.-based columnist wrote, "If the Inquirer agrees to his requests, a dangerous precedent will be set.
"Duterte will demand my articles denouncing him should also be removed by the Inquirer...
"Jinggoy, Bongbong, even China will also send their demand letters to Inquirer."
NETIZENS REACT. Pepsi Paloma is arguably one of the most intriguing figures in Philippine showbiz history.
The mystery behind her mysterious death has piqued many generations of showbiz fans, even decades after her alleged "suicide."
With her name back in the limelight, people have rekindled their interest regarding the issue.
Now the Pepsi Paloma case has resurfaced, all because of the man who requested to silence the same issue— mark johnuel duavis (@markjohnuel) June 16, 2018
Learned Pepsi Paloma's unfortunate fate summer four years ago, haunted my very core for weeks. https://t.co/n4ndZokhMY— leapy (@mulaninmilan) June 16, 2018
Many netizens were outraged by Senator Sotto's request, saying that the timing of his letter was questionable.
The letter was sent eight days after the senator took over as senate president.
Tito Sotto has the audacity to ask Inquirer to take this article down.— Nathania Chua (@PilosopoTanya) June 16, 2018
Keep on sharing this to piss off the rapist. Pepsi Paloma will not be forgotten. https://t.co/l2eNR4Rm64
Thumbs up to Tito Sitto for reminding everyone of what they did to Pepsi Paloma. *oops* https://t.co/kWkRO0JH5t— John Dy (@ohmyjohndy) June 16, 2018
Shame on you, Senate President Sotto. You’re just there for a few months but u’re starting to use ur position to intimidate organizations. Maybe that’s what u did to Pepsi Paloma. Your letter was sort of a “request”. But u didn’t use the Senate letterhead for nothing.— KT (@jooycebond) June 16, 2018
In the end, netizens believe that the story of Pepsi Paloma should never be forgotten.